Every year, half a million people seek consultation for changing the appearance of their nose, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). Rhinoplasty surgery remains the most popular and most commonly desired plastic surgery procedure for both men and women under 35. However, a typical recovery after nasal surgery can be very uncomfortable and involve severe swelling and bruising.
“Up to this point, rhinoplasty patients have had limited nasal breathing due to swelling during the first few days after surgery,” explains Dr. Jay Dutton, Midwest Facial Plastic Center. “They also typically develop bruising around the eyes and have to wear bulky nasal dressings and splints for up to 14 days.”
This long recovery and return to work process discourages some patients from undergoing nose surgery.
Good news is here for patients interested in nasal surgery in the Chicago area. Dr. Dutton is now using new technologies, including minimally invasive rhinoplasty and 3D imaging, to make recovery faster and getting back to work much easier. “The biggest advantages to minimally invasive rhinoplasty are less postoperative swelling, a shorter recovery period and no external incisions,” explains Dr. Dutton.
During a minimally invasive rhinoplasty, the surgeon uses small incisions that are hidden in the nose. Surgery is performed through small pockets using delicate instruments. The skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilage is raised, allowing access to the inside of the nose. Depending on the patient’s nose, either bone or cartilage is removed which decreases the size and shape of the nose, or cartilage is grafted, typically from the septum, to add to the nose. Once the nose is the desired size and shape, the nasal skin is re-positioned and incisions are closed.
“The beauty of the minimally invasive procedure is that patients can breathe immediately when they wake up in the recovery room,” explains Dr. Dutton. “They do not require gauze packing, and in some cases nothing in the nose at all. If small plastic splints are placed, they are hollow so patients can breathe, sometimes even better than pre-op. When those come out, patients almost always breathe better than before surgery.”
There are several factors that make minimally invasive rhinoplasty superior to other approaches. “It features the use of an endoscope, which is a tiny camera, to precisely visualize what we are doing inside the nasal cavity,” explains Dr. Dutton. “We also use very small drills to move bone and preserve nasal structures that are important for supporting the nose.”
At the Midwest Facial Plastic Center, Dr. Dutton also uses 3D imaging to avoid injuring normal structures during surgery. “I use 3D computerized tomography navigation to help guide certain techniques,” explains Dr. Dutton. “I am even using specialized software to create a 3D model of the anatomical problems to plan out the precise moves preoperatively.”
Many advances continue to be made in the area of minimally invasive rhinoplasty. “I think the most exciting direction minimally invasive rhinoplasty is heading will involve tissue bioengineering of the patient’s own cartilage,” explains Dr. Dutton. “Eventually, we may even use something like a 3D printer which would print out a mold of a nose. It would then be implemented with a patient’s own cartilage cells and re-implanted in the nose. We are constantly exploring better ways of perfecting this surgery.”
Dr. Dutton explains that although new technologies are very important to a safe and quick recovery, the key to a successful outcome is to work with a surgeon who has performed many surgeries and has your best interest at heart.
Dr. Dutton is double board certified in both otolaryngology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery with more than 15 years in all aspects of facial cosmetic surgery, particularly in advanced rhinoplasty.
If you are interested in exploring facial plastic surgery options at either the Oak Brook or Tinley Park offices, please contact Dr. Jay Dutton, Midwest Facial Plastic Center, at 630-574-08222 or visit www.rhinochicago.com.
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